Finally, the big day had arrived – the fundraising was over, the costumes ready, the drummers rehearsed, the dance pieces choreographed – it was time to Rock the centre of Dublin!
At 6pm at the Gaiety Theatre it was time for ‘The Boys Are Back In Town!’
The running order was that we would perform the five Thin Lizzy songs with ‘Remembering Lizzy’ outside the Gaiety. Each dance section would perform their choreography to ‘their’ song.
Following this all performers, with the exception of ‘Remembering Lizzy’ formed up and paraded down and back up Grafton Street. While parade was taking place a local rock band, ‘The Vault’ played some classic rock songs on the stage outside the Gaiety.
On their return, we would repeat the five songs, again accompanied by the dancers.
Our thinking was that the first stationary performance would act as a warm-up, the parade would gather a crowd, and we would have a good audience for the 2nd stationary show. However, we had a really big crowd waiting for the first element of the show, and we had a great audience for the duration of the show. We estimate that the total audience for the event was at least 5,000 people, and as one participant commented, ‘It was great to see so many people standing still and smiling on Grafton Street’.
The show itself had all the elements necessary for a successful street theatre spectacle; exotic costumes and characters, vibrant colours, loud, exciting music, dance, drama, songs and plenty of smiles from the performers and the audience. Most importantly, the audience ‘got’ what the show was about, and their only ‘complaint’ was – why didn’t you play ‘Dancing in the Moonlight’, or any one of a number of other Thin Lizzy classics.
The event was rounded off with a very positive speech from Smiley Bolger, who suggested that the pageant should become an annual event – we’ll think about it!